By Phillip Edward Alexander
A casual glance at the news today may lead readers to believe that the entire nation has lost its moral compass and has run completely off course. Based on just today's reports it is glaringly obvious that we are in the throes of a sexual crisis in this country, where people are not only appearing lust mad, their very self image and the targets of their desires seems to have been skewed along the way of their own personal development.
Phillip Edward Alexander is a social and political activist, a feature writer and columnist, the founder of the Jericho Project and the chairman of the Citizen's Union of Trinidad and Tobago
What could possess seemingly normal people to act out in what could only be described as sick, deranged or abnormal ways sexually? Almost overnight we are presented with an avalanche of child abuse at all levels, from primary caregivers and family members, to school teachers, secondary caretakers and total strangers. What is at the heart of this abuse of innocence? What is the point being made by these attacks?
It is obvious that something is driving this depravity and one does not have to be a psychologist to see the hand of popular culture and media in this. The links to the sexualization of all aspects of our expression be it music, dance or mas in our overly permissive society is as plain as a line from point A to B.
We have decency laws that could get you arrested in private for what is being sold as culture in public, and the 'sexing up' of the greatest show on earth has led us to a place where creativity is no longer as important as suggestive nudity and drunken gyration.
That we took so long to get to the point where teachers are sending naked pictures of themselves to their students surprised even me, but what is the hardest to stomach is the hypocrisy of some of the new pious advocates who are railing against the display, yet who fail to see the indecency in their own behaviour and the messages they themselves have been sending out every day.
While nothing can be gained from playing the blame game here, surely we need to identify what is causing this epidemic of inappropriately expressed sexuality so as to protect the coming generations. I have highlighted before that we are producing a nation of wannabe models, young barely teens sweating in gyms to reshape their little bodies to fit the ideal image of desire in a country where everything from cell phones to a cinema opening requires scantily clad 'sexy' young girls flirting professionally as sales agents. What did we think would be the end result of all this seduction?
We need to revisit the values we are inculcating in our youth, because for the most part the message is clear: If you are not desired sexually then you are nothing. Building a generation around their genitals was never going to reap good fruit, and many of the parents of yesterday need to take a long hard look at what exactly they contributed to by their own slack behaviour and lewdness.
The underage girls on the front of the carnival magazines with exposed pubic mounds and barely covered breasts may make millions for exploiting entrepreneurs, but someone needs to ask who is this for and again to what end? What is the message being sold here?
It is almost as if to speak against it is to be judged a prude, but how can we expect to reap anything other than what we continue to sow? I want to offer again that, if what we focus on will grow, then brace for much more inappropriate displays of sexuality and abuse as the line between victimizer and victim gets further blurred.
Our lack of controls and, yes, even censorship has led us to a place where the content of our radio stations and local music television have convinced our youth that to be a 'ho' is to be envied, and to have multiples of them is to be a success. This needs to be undone, boundaries of good taste need to be established, and pornography and lewd behaviour need to be removed from public airwaves once more.
That we have allowed the exploitation of our innocents for profit to continue is the worst form of national child abuse and we really need to be ashamed. We as a people need to decide what exactly are our core values in what we are for and against and say it loudly. This is important work and needs to begin immediately if we are to have any hope of success against this madness, if such a thing is even possible at this stage.